Spacing Atlantic, an urban blog covering cities in Atlantic Canada, has a series called [Re]Presenting Halifax, which looks at historical and contemporary maps and diagrams of the Halifax region. Four posts so far, including this one on Atlantic Neptune cartographer J. F. W. Des Barres and this one on a 1950s urban renewal study. Via Map the Universe.
The best maps of the island in the Lost TV series, from official and fan sources, as compiled by the sci-fi blog io9.
CNet reports that the European Union’s privacy watchdog sent a letter to Google outlining its concerns about Street View; in the letter, the watchdog “told Google that it should warn towns and cities before it snaps photos for its online Street View maps. The EU also told the company that it should cut the time it keeps the original photos online from a year to six months.” (By original photos they mean the original, unblurred, unredacted photos.) Google responded saying that its itinerary was posted (though the page is a 404), the images are, shall we say, not current, identifying images (faces, licence plates) are blurred, etc., etc.
I think it’s safe to say that the give-and-take between Street View and privacy commissions is going to be a long-term thing.
I’ve found two NOAA maps showing the progress and impact of the tsunami generated by this morning’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile. Note that the wave is happening as I write this and that by the time you read this post these maps may well be out of date.
This map shows the estimated travel times for the tsunami wave:
Phil says: “It’s unclear to me just how big a wave this means in terms of real height (it’s a model, not an actual measurement), but it should bring home that you should take this seriously.”
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has no equivalent maps, but does have plenty of data.
Londonist is putting out a call for hand-drawn maps of London: “Draw a map of your local area, be it home or work, indicating all the corners, bars, parks, features and characters that are important to you. You can be as colourful or cryptic, as detailed or sketchy as you like, using whatever medium works best — as long as you pick an area in London.” Submission guidelines on the original post. Above, an early entry from worldofchris.
The Collins Maps Blog points to two major collections of aerial photography that are browsable online: the National Library of Scotland’s collection of Ordnance Survey air photo mosaics of Scotland, taken between 1944 and 1950; and the National Collection of Aerial Photography, which includes wartime aerial reconnaissance photos from the Aerial Reconnaissance Archives.
The New York Times maps zones in Istanbul where poor construction could lead to a large number of deaths in the event of an earthquake; it also has a world map showing which cities in the world have large populations, large districts of poorly constructed buildings, and a 1-in-10 chance of a major earthquake in the next 40 years. Via geoparadigm; thanks also to Brooks Rowlett.
A big blog entry from the David Rumsey Map Collection about cartouches, “the elaborate decorations that frame map titles and other information about the map,” including 50 (!) examples thereof.
The Street-O map contains the level of detail equivalent to the Street-O maps used for informal orienteering races around the streets of London and other urban areas in the UK and around the world. The Pseud-O map is a less serious map (as the level of detail in OSM is not sufficient for “proper” orienteering maps) but attempts to emulate the look and feel of standard orienteering maps.
Both maps make (loose) use of the ISOM and ISSOM orienteering mapping specifications, particularly the colours and the styling. Measurements are less likely to be within spec, due to artistic considerations and limits of standard screen resolutions.
The Last of the Wild “depicts human influence on terrestrial ecosystems using data sets compiled on or around 2000.” Sample maps showing the human footprint on the world and continental level are available; the data can be downloaded as well. Via La Cartoteca.
Previously: Mapping the Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems.
One way to determine the age of a recent globe (or world or regional map) is to look at the political boundaries: if you know when boundaries changed or when countries became independent, for example, you should be able to zoom in on the year of production if it isn’t printed somewhere on the map or globe. Both globe maker Replogle and map and globe maker Cram have compiled tables to help you figure out the age of your globe (or map): here’s Replogle’s; here’s Cram’s (PDF). Via Map the Universe.
Previously: Determining a Map’s Age.
Iran’s war to keep people from calling the Persian Gulf by another name — the Arabian Gulf — has opened a new front: map displays on airplanes’ in-flight monitors, with the Iranian government threatening to ban airlines from Iranian airspace if they use the “forged term,” as they call it. Via Matt.
The mapping of post-earthquake Haiti continues. ReliefWeb has a collection of useful maps, including this OCHA map of population movements out of Port-au-Prince as of last Wednesday. Via geoparadigm.
Alejandro Polanco Masa, author of La Cartoteca (which in my view is one of the best map blogs out there, despite the fact that he writes in Spanish and I can barely understand it), has announced a personal project: because, he says, graphic designers have trouble dealing with shapefiles and GIS software, he’s put together a world map in EPS vector file format, with various geographic features separated by layers. He’s done it as Robinson projection, which is fine for world maps, but I’m not so sure it’s a good idea for regional maps unless it’s close to the central meridian.
The Telegraph’s headline: Countryside ban for children because mum’s [sic] cannot read maps and hate mud. Less sensationally (and less sexist): researchers at Hertfordshire University found that affluent suburban families in the south of England were keeping their children away from the countryside because it was outside their comfort zone; among the reasons, a fear of injury and of getting dirty, and an inability to get around with a map. From the Telegraph article:
Debbie Pearlman Hougie, a senior lecturer in rural geography at the university, said: “None of the mothers I spoke to could read a map.
“I put a 1:25,000 Ordinance Survey map on the table and they didn’t know where to start, they also didn’t know anything about rights of way.
“There were stories of families who had gone for a walk and ended up on someone’s land and got shouted at and never went back.
“They did not know how to make up circular walks or work out where it might be safe to go cycling with children.”
The mobile version of Google Earth is now available for the Android mobile phone platform. It’s available for the Nexus One and most devices with Android 2.1. (Which, Gizmodo says, “effectively limits it to the Nexus One. The good news is that the Droid, and some older HTC handsets, are due for a 2.1 upgrade relatively soon.”)
Update, Feb. 23: Google Earth Blog has a hands-on review.
Aperture 3 was released earlier this month; the new release adds the geotagging features we previously saw in iPhoto ’09. (Previous versions of Aperture required plugins — for example, Maperture.) An important difference, noted by CNet’s comparison of the “carryover features” found in iPhoto ’09 and now Aperture 3, is that Aperture 3 supports importing tracks from GPS loggers. More on Aperture 3’s Places features.
Casio’s Exilim EX-10HG digital camera, with a built-in GPS and accelerometers to determine location indoors, was featured as a prototype at CES last month; it now appears that it will be released in October.
How Yahoo deals with disputed place names and boundaries in its geodata, using Cyprus (and, more specifically, how to deal with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) as an example.
Jay Montano goes on and on about how much he loves Nokia’s Ovi Maps on his N97, now that it’s been updated to version 3.03.
Larsen will explore the narrative power of both cartography and literature, providing a behind-the-scenes peek into the creation of “The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet.” Larsen makes the case that maps are not just wayfaring tools—like short stories, they function as highly selective cultural documents that tell a series of fascinating, interwoven stories, often as much about the mapmaker as the territory mapped. Twenty-five books will be given away during the presentation.
2. Long out of print and hard to find, Carlos Quirino’s Philippine Cartography 1320-1899, first published in 1959, is being republished this year in a third edition.
3. The 1973 Hammond Medallion World Atlas has been digitized and put online, available for your perusal in many different formats. Via La Cartoteca.
- Buy The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet at Amazon.com
Via multiple sources, Blaise Aguera y Arcas’s TED talk demonstrating some of the more amazing, augmented-reality features in Bing Maps.
This video is a visualization of the OpenStreetMap community’s response to the Haitian earthquake. Christopher Osborne explains: “In the video, each flash represents a new edit into OpenStreetMap, and this visualisation is a vivid picture of how much work was contributed by volunteers, following the quake. First the primary and secondary roads (green and red) are added and then smaller residential streets and then many other features such as the blue glowing camps of displaced people that emerge.” Via Mapperz.
Two ongoing map exhibitions in New England to tell you about:
- Map Talk: A Conversation with Maps at the JCB, at the John Carter Brown Library of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island until March 30. Via MapHist.
- Writing the Earth: 2,000 Years of Geography and Mapping, at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, “features a selection of world maps that were printed between 1511 and 1800 and are on loan from a private collection. The show also includes a small group of maps from 1570 featuring the Americas.” More coverage here. Runs until May 2.
George Washington’s personal copy of The Battle of Yorktown, a map made by Jean-Baptiste Gouvion 10 days after the battle in 1781, sold at auction earlier this month for $1.15 million. Via MapHist and Map History/History of Cartography.
Google has added Labs to Google Maps; Google has used the Labs category to offer some quirky, optional and experimental features to its established products (when Beta isn’t enough, I guess). In the case of Google Maps, that means some interface features like drag-to-zoom, tools that allow you to see a location’s latitude and longitude, bird’s-eye oblique imagery that was previously available only through the API, and rotatable maps (to create, I suppose, your own upside-down map of the world). Plus a bunch of other stuff. See James Fee and All Points Blog.
Look what designer Beste Miray Dogan has come up with: envelopes lined with a Google Maps printout of the return address. Via Make.
Geotagged Flickr photos are now available via Bing Maps and Street View, and Rev Dan Catt, late of Flickr, bemoans the fact that that while Google and Microsoft had to use the API, “Yahoo, who has direct access to all the photos and metadata, including extra EXIF data that you can’t get via the API, it’s just sitting there on the disks … isn’t … you may notice, producing any tech demos, or videos of its latest research. […] Yahoo has let so many opportunities and good people slip through its fingers, that it makes me a little bit sick thinking about it.”
I’m writing a screenplay now, which I’m trying to direct, and it’s about a man who was a well-known map expert, who was famous for having discovered certain maps, and he was caught stealing from the Beinecke Library at Yale a few years ago. A guy named Forbes Smiley, he was actually a college friend of mine. The screenplay also has references to other things that happened to Forbes Smiley, although most of it is invention. And many of our friends who’ve looked at it are amazed that so much of it is invention. They thought I was going to make a biopic or something. But being able to invent gives you a lot of freedom. … I’m trying to get it made now. I’m at the “This is great, we’re really excited to do it, can you attach Philip Seymour Hoffman to it?” stage.
Honestly, I’m not sure who could be cast for this. The working title is (Also, a Villager), an obscure reference that is explained in the interview. Via MapHist (thanks, Tony).
On the sidebar, you’ll notice a new Google Friend Connect box. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet, but if you use Google Friend Connect, you can use it here.
The Map Room’s Facebook page has been around for nearly two years; if you want this blog’s posts polluting your news feeds (beats farms and ninjas, don’t you think?), well, you can do that. When I produce a post you like, please do use the “like” button — the feedback helps me figure out what people like reading. (My personal Facebook profile is just that: personal — I have to know you.)
Elsewhere in Socialnetworkistan, you can follow me on Twitter, but I talk about everything there, not just maps. I do have a list of Twitter feeds about maps that I follow (now don’t get all excited trying to get me to add you to it; I’m not trying to be comprehensive). I do find a lot of good material
by stealing from other people’s accounts on Twitter, and sending me new links that way, quite frankly, works.
Colby Cosh’s reaction to the discovery that his home town — Bon Accord, Alberta: population 1,534 — is now in Google Street View:
[W]hat I felt was more like roller-coaster horror/panic. My memories of Bon Accord are pretty much all in faded Super-8 and grainy black-and-white NTSC (we didn’t have a colour television set until 1978), with plenty of Walker Evans/Diane Arbus/David Lynch grace notes. The name of the place puts me in mind of innocence and freedom — but also of mean dogs, dead cats, sketchy neighbours, retarded teenagers, agricultural odours, rotting upholstery in abandoned automobiles.
To imagine a perverted technical intruder circulating throughout those streets is a rape of the id. All the more so, indeed, because the camera reveals a considerably more friendly, bourgeois place, one that I could no longer navigate on a three-speed with my eyes shut. Basic topographies that defined my world have changed immeasurably; hills flattened, ditches filled in, vistas of my dream life annihilated. Is nothing sacred to you, Google? Will you leave nothing untouched, unexamined, uninterrogated?
Previously: Hey, I Can See My House.
Pete Warden has been visualizing Facebook connections, and has noticed that some local networks form clusters in surprising ways.
[I]t’s been remarkable to see how groups of them form clusters, with strong connections locally but few contacts outside the cluster. For example Columbus, OH and Charleston, WV are nearby as the crow flies, but share few connections, with Columbus clearly part of the North, and Charleston tied to the South[.]
Some of these clusters are intuitive, like the old south, but there’s some surprises too, like Missouri, Louisiana and Arkansas having closer ties to Texas than Georgia. To make sense of the patterns I’m seeing, I’ve marked and labeled the clusters, and added some notes about the properties they have in common.
With the above map as the result. Via Kottke.
Matt Fox has put together a Google Earth layer of IFR Enroute Low Altitude Charts, which are used for airplane navigation under instrument flight rules at altitudes below 18,000 feet (5,500 metres); note that the charts are not current and shouldn’t actually be used for navigation.
For the rest of you, the news is straightforward: Google Street View has added imagery from Norway and Finland, and has dramatically expanded its coverage of Canada, including more than 130 cities and major highways; it’s also added ski runs in Whistler by putting the Street View camera on the back of a snowmobile (CBC News, Google Earth Blog, Google Blog, Google Lat Long, Mapperz). New imagery has also been added to Google Earth (and will presumably be pushed out to Google Maps shortly).
But for me, I’m stunned to find that both updates have dramatically improved Google’s coverage of the small town in which I live, with all of 1,500 people. Yes, even my town is in Street View, as are many other Canadian towns and villages of comparable size. (Was it really so long ago that Canada cities with more than half a million people weren’t in Street View?) And the medium-resolution Spot satellite imagery added for the Ottawa region is also a marked improvement — though it’s still a long way from high-resolution aerial photography.
Mapping Missouri: Maps from the Collection of the Missouri State Archives opens today at the National Archives Central Plains Region headquarters in Kansas City. “Drawing from diverse examples such as land survey maps made by Antoine Soulard from 1796-1806 and computer generated census maps made in the year 2000, this exhibit explores the history of cartographic images of Missouri and the role they play in our everyday world.” More from the Kansas City Star. The free exhibition runs until May 29.
I remember well this Sesame Street bit, starring Grover the waiter and his restaurant customer, who misses his flight to South America because Grover won’t shut up about “this wonderful, glorious map.” When I stumbled across it again tonight, I noticed something interesting: take a good look at that map and tell me it isn’t a Gall-Peters projection!
Apple says that iPhone developers should not use Core Location, the API that provides an iPhone user’s location, just to provide location-targeted ads. Ed Parsons and GPS Review have what I think is the correct take on this: if you’re going to tap into Core Location (which drains battery life, requires user approval and reveals personal information), for God’s sake make it for something more than just local advertising (which I presume is still allowed, just secondarily). Apple may be getting into mobile advertising, but I don’t think preemptively stomping on the potential competition in the mobile ad space is what’s behind this (pace MacNN, ReadWriteWeb and others).
NASA has released new maps of Pluto, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Even through the Hubble, everyone’s favourite Kuiper Belt Object is only a handful of pixels across, and the Hubble can only make out surface variations a few hundred kilometres in size. Even so, this is probably the most detail we’ll get until New Horizons arrives in five years’ time. And it’s still of use to scientists:
The images taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show an icy and dark molasses-colored, mottled world that is undergoing seasonal changes in its surface color and brightness. Pluto has become significantly redder, while its illuminated northern hemisphere is getting brighter. These changes are most likely consequences of surface ices sublimating on the sunlit pole and then refreezing on the other pole as the dwarf planet heads into the next phase of its 248-year-long seasonal cycle. The dramatic change in color apparently took place in a two-year period, from 2000 to 2002. …
Hubble reveals a complex-looking and variegated world with white, dark-orange and charcoal-black terrain. The overall color is believed to be a result of ultraviolet radiation from the distant sun breaking up methane that is present on Pluto’s surface, leaving behind a dark and red carbon-rich residue.
Previously: Map of Pluto.
Recent updates to Google Earth include higher-resolution underwater terrain data for some parts of the ocean floor and historical aerial photography taken over European cities during the Second World War.
The Ordnance Survey’s lawyers are going after the publishers of a comic novel, The Hills Are Stuffed with Swedish Girls, whose cover parodies the OS’s Landranger series, Grough reports: “In place of the OS’s initialled north arrow are the author’s initials and there are a few new conventional signs on the cover, including a bra, a tablet and a part-drunk pint of beer. The scale is described as one beer to one mile.” The author and publisher say it’s clearly a parody; the OS says it’s trying to protect its brand’s reputation.
NASA has released a post-earthquake radar image of the Port-au-Prince region: “JPL’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) captured this false-color composite image of the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the surrounding region on Jan. 27, 2010. Port-au-Prince is visible near the center of the image. The large dark line running east-west near the city is the main airport. … The large linear east-west valley in the mountains south of the city is the location of the major active fault zone responsible for the earthquake: the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault.”
For previous entries on the Haitian earthquake, see the Haitan Earthquake category archive.
Wapenmaps are contour maps made of stainless steel. The company, Wapentac, produces several maps of locations in various British national parks. Relatively inexpensive at £20, and small enough (17×8.9 cm) to be shipped by mail, they require some assembly by the purchaser to separate the contours from each other. Via La Cartoteca.
CNet has a look at maps of Apple’s forthcoming iPad. I freely admit my Apple fanboyishness and confess that I’m looking forward to this gadget. Compared to the
iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad’s Google Maps application adds both a terrain layer and Street View — to say nothing of a much larger screen. iPads with 3G data also come with assisted GPS; Wi-Fi-only models do not. The mind boggles at what could be done with maps on a device with GPS, ubiquitous Internet access anywhere there’s a cellphone signal, and a screen that big. (Image credit: Apple)
Geocoded Art geotags public-domain paintings of identifiable locations. The site requires that “a) the image is a recognizable depiction of [a] specific location (not just ‘Tuscan countryside’); and b) the image be in the public domain,” but does not include ridiculously familiar landmarks. This is a nice thing to have geotagged. Via Google Maps Mania.